A poorly soundproofed bathroom can be a very embarrassing problem.
Fortunately there are numerous things you can do to that will allow you to poop freely without fear of being overheard.
The most important things to do when soundproofing a bathroom is to increase the sound resistance of your doors and walls, it is also a good idea to sound deaden your toilet so that it doesn’t disturb others.
1) Soundproof Your Bathroom Door
Make sure that you deal with your door first before moving onto soundproofing any other part of your bathroom.
Often sorting out the door will make enough of a difference to fix your soundproofing issues.
Interior doors are not built for sound resistance. They are typically constructed with hollow cores, the structure is supported by a cardboard lattice inside the frame.
Mass blocks sound.
Interior doors have very little mass so it is no surprise that they offer very limited levels of sound resistance.
In fact because of the hollow space inside them and the thin panels they are made from they can even sometimes amplify vibrations a bit like a drum!
Here are a few key things you can do to soundproof your door:
Add Mass To The Bathroom Door
The easiest and tidiest way to add mass is simply to replace your door with a solid wood door. Dense wooden doors provide a lot more sound resistance.
If getting a new door isn’t an option for you here are a few other things you can try:
- Screw MDF panels into your door.
- Glue dense vinyl onto the door.
- Fit acoustic panels.
- Hang a blanket on the door.
Use Weather Stripping
Weather stripping is something we bang on about endlessly here at Soundproof Panda…in pretty much every single article we write we mention it.
There’s a good reason for that; it’s incredibly cost-effective.
Weather stripping can be picked up for less than $10 a roll. To soundproof your bathroom door with it follow these steps:
- Peel off the sticky back.
- Open your bathroom door and stick the weather stripping inside the door frame where the door will meet the frame when closed.
- Ensure that the weather stripping goes all the way around the frame.
That’s it. The reason it works so well is that it completely seals up any gap between your door and the door frame.
Weather stripping is designed to stop wind and rain getting though exterior doors so it does a great job of stopping air-borne sound getting through the gaps around your door.
Install A Door Sweep
The gap at the bottom of your door is often the area which most sound leaks through.
Adding mass to your door and fitting weather stripping around the frame will make very little difference if you have a huge one-inch gap at the bottom of your bathroom door.
Door sweeps are designed to prevent wind, damp and dirt from sneaking under doors.
Due to their thick bristles (or rubber) which keep contact with the door as it is opened and closed a tight seal is created between the sweep and the floor making it difficult for sound to get through.
Installing a door sweep is very simple and shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. You can read instructions on how to install a door sweep here.
2) Soundproof Your Bathroom Walls
Internal walls are often hollow and completely uninsulated making it easy for sound to travel through them so soundproofing your bathroom walls will make a big difference.
Seal Up Any Cracks In Your Bathroom Wall
If there are any cracks visible in your wall you should seal them up. Even the smallest crack can let a lot of noise through.
Simply fill the hole with a joint compound sealant, ensure that you cover the crack thoroughly applying sealant liberally at least a few inches either side of the hole or crack.
If necessary you can add another layer once it has dried, then sand it down and you can decorate over it.
Add More Drywall
As we’ve already mentioned mass blocks sound, adding more mass to your walls is the best thing you can do to make them more sound resistant.
To get the most bang for your buck we recommend that you put a layer of mass loaded vinyl between drywall layers and seal it in using a sealant like green glue which helps dampen vibrations.
Strategically Position Towel Racks
If you don’t want to spend lots of time or money installing drywall then there are far cheaper options.
Simply rearranging the furniture in your bathroom can make a significant difference.
For example if you install a towel rack in front of a problem wall and ensure that it is kept full of towels that can help dampen and muffle sound before it reaches the wall.
3) Soundproof the Floor
Floors aren’t generally much on an issue with bathrooms. Bathroom floors are usually tiled which means the floor is dense and well-sealed meaning that air-borne sound can’t travel through it.
However impact sound, for example vibrations from someone walking, can be transmitted through a bathroom floor.
The simplest way to deal with this is to add padding to your floor. Do this by getting thick bath mats and toilet rugs, you could also try and enforce a rule that everyone has to wear thick slippers in the bathroom!
4) Soundproof The Toilet
If you live with a big family then the toilet will get regular use.
The constant flushing and the sound of the toilet seat hitting the tank again and again can be irritatin…particularly if you are trying to have a nap in the room next door!
Here are a few things you can do to reduce the amount of noise your toilet produces:
If you don’t have a toilet lid cover get one. This will help dampen the sound of it hitting the tank.
In addition to this it is a great idea to fit some extra padding on the tank itself.
Some noise dampening bumpers would be ideal.
Stick the bumpers on your toilet tank in the exact place where the toilet lid would hit it. You can also install some bumpers on the underside of the toilet seat so that it makes less noise if it is dropped down.
Doing this should completely eradicate the jarring sound of porcelain on porcelain and bring a bit more silence to your home.
Soundproof The Toilet Tank
If your toilet has a particularly loud flush or you can constantly hear water running inside the tank then soundproofing the tank is a good idea.
To do this you will need some adhesive foam tape. To soundproof your toilet tank follow these steps:
- Take the lid off the tank of your toilet and clean the top and inside edges of it.
- Peel the backing off the adhesive foam and stick it around the top edges of your toilet tank, folding it inside the wall of the toilet too.
- Push the tank lid firmly back into place – you should notice it is a tighter (more sound resistant) fit.
Check The Pipes
If your toilet makes a lot of noise when it is filling up there may be an issue with your pipes.
Check that the water inlet pipe is clamped up tightly, tighten up any screws.
It is also a very good idea to check that the water valve is set correctly, valves can make a lot of noise if they are set incorrectly so tighten or loosen up the valve as the toilet tank is filling and see if this makes any difference to the amount of sound it makes.
5) White Noise
A quick and simple solution which can help with bathroom noises is to use white noise in the bathroom.
In Japan many of their high tech toilets play tune or white noise as you use them so that any unintentional ‘toilet’ noises are drowned out.
Putting a white noise machine in your bathroom can help people feel more comfortable and at ease in your bathroom.
6) Soundproof The Air Vent
Ventilation is very important in bathrooms so sealing up your air vent isn’t an option.
If your air vent is letting lots of noise in (or out) there are a few things you can do:
- Use acoustic foam on the inside covers of your air vent, this will allow air to travel through but will help muffle any sounds.
- You could also cover your vent with a soundproof blanket or curtain.
- Or (the most effective however also the most labour intensive method) you could create a sound maze inside your vent.
Read our article for detailed information on how to soundproof an air vent.